Anorak News | Man Invites Police To Hack Computer For Child Pornography

Man Invites Police To Hack Computer For Child Pornography

by | 23rd, May 2007

SHOULD you be able to look at your child’s compouter records? And get the police to hack it to look for child porn?

Can an elderly father give police permission to search a password-protected computer kept in his adult son’s bedroom, without probable cause or a warrant? In April, a three judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said yes.

This week, the son’s attorney, Melissa Harrison, an assistant federal public defender in Kansas City, will ask the court to reconsider the panel’s ruling. At stake is whether law enforcement will have any responsibility to respect passwords and other expressions of user privacy when searching devices which contain the most sensitive kinds of private information.

In United States v. Andrus, agents suspected that the defendant was accessing websites containing child pornography, but after eight months of investigation still did not have sufficient probable cause to get a search warrant. Instead, they decided to drop by the defendant’s house for an impromptu conversation.

The suspect was not at home. However, his 91-year-old father answered the door in his pajamas, invited the agents in, and eventually gave them permission to enter his son’s bedroom and search the hard drive on his son’s password-protected computer. The agents used EnCase to perform the search, a common forensic tool programmed to ignore Windows logon passwords. Agents found child pornography on the computer.

Posted: 23rd, May 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink